Walt Disney is having a great time lately after the phenomenal start for its streaming service Disney+, which received record streaming viewers than expected. This follows on the growing success of the company’s other two OTT platforms – Hulu and ESPN+.
In a recent regulatory filing, the House of Mouse has revealed updates on its subscriber numbers, which shows that Disney is on track to achieve its long-term direct-to-consumer goals.
ESPN+, which was Disney’s first foray into streaming, continues its speedy growth. Launched in April 2018, it grew to more than one million subscribers in just the six following months. By February, 2019, ESPN+ had eclipsed more than two million paying customers. In the filing, Disney said ESPN+ closed out FY19 (which ended on 28 September) with about three million subscribers and currently enjoys over 3.5 million paid subscribers.
Hulu, on the other hand, added eight million new subscribers in 2018, an increase of 48 per cent year over year, bringing the total to 25 million. At Hulu ’19 presentation in May, the number had jumped to 26.8 million. Recently, Disney revealed that Hulu’s paid subscribers had grown to 29 million to close out September. In fact, Hulu’s subscriber growth will probably get a boost from Disney’s decision to bundle ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+ for a generous monthly discount. Disney previously announced that its goal for Hulu was to hit 40 million to 60 million subscribers by 2024, which seems to be within striking distance.
Disney+ has already topped 10 million sign-ups (including free trials) on its first day of operations and is said to be not providing updates except during its quarterly earnings releases.